2nd grade Windsor student places fourth in national mental math contest
'I feel proud of him,' says the student's father
The City of Windsor may have a mathematics whiz in its midst and mental math is his game.
Shivam Patel, 8, recently finished as the third runner up in his age category in a national mental math contest.
The Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS) is an international program which helps young students develop mathematic skills through the use of an abacus. Children are trained in rapid math calculation and are taught strategies to enhance their cognitive skills in order to complete complex mathematics in their head.
"I'm glad to win the national competition and make my country, Canada, proud," Shivam said.
Shivam, a grade two student at St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual Elementary School, has been a student of UCMAS for the last three years. He has participated in the national contest once before, but this was his first year achieving a high award.
"I feel proud of him, but I wasn't very surprised that he can achieve this," said Aerry Patel, Shivam's father.
"Mainly this is his hard work," said Aerry. "A little bit of God's grace and mainly the grandparents and my wife, they practiced a lot with him."
Aerry and his wife, Sneha Patel, noticed Shivam's mathematical skills when he very young. His teachers had pointed out his gift for mathematics to them, and have shown support for his progress.
"They are extremely proud of him and they wish he keeps achieving this goal and maybe at an international level, he makes Canada proud," said Sneha.
Sneha has practiced with her son each day, helping him to improve his skills.
She said Shivam has two more levels to achieve at the UCMAS. Once Shivam reaches the highest level in the program, he will have the ability to calculate complex mental mathematics with five to six digit numbers on his own.
"Hopefully this will help him to achieve his future goals of becoming a math teacher," said Aerry.
Shivam has said he wants to be a math teacher when he grows up, but as a child, he enjoys others hobbies as well.
"I'm good at bicycle exercises and stretching and doing homework," said Shivam.
The UCMAS began operating in North America in 2004. It has locations in 75 countries worldwide with more than 50,000 students.
With files from Darrin Di Carlo